Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Google offers solutions to avoid more EU Android fines

Google to start charging for Google Play Google offers solutions to avoid more EU Android fines
Oscar Goodwin | 18 October, 2018, 03:28

Device makers will also now be able to install rival modified, or "forked", versions of Android, the most widely used mobile operating system.

While Google has appealed the EU's ruling, it might take years to reach a decision.

Google has not admitted defeat in its ongoing battle with the European Commission, but it has announced some changes to its Android device policies meant to address the Commission's concerns.

"That's been harder to do for Android licensees as a lot of the revenue from their devices has flowed to Google via things like Search and Maps". The EC's stipulation that companies were being hindered by their inability to ship devices with forked versions of Android is of dubious merit, and now there's a very real possibility that Google-sanctioned devices - a vast majority of Androids sold in the EEA - will cost more when they hit store shelves.

The company's announcement Tuesday came ahead of an October 29 deadline to comply with a European Union antitrust decision, which saw regulators slap the company with a $5 billion fine for bundling its apps in an allegedly anticompetitive manner.

"Android will remain free and open-source". As part of this ruling, Google was told they needed to stop this behavior.

In a blog post detailing the move, Google said it would change existing practice and allow smartphone and tablet makers - such as Samsung or Huawei - to create non-Android compliant phones in parallel to compliant ones. In other words, Google is likely going to incentivize OEMs purchasing the full suite of Google products, probably by offering discounts.

New commercial agreements will also be supported for "non-exclusive pre-installation and placement" of both the Search app and Chrome.

Some device makers had complained to regulators in Europe that Google's terms effectively boxed them out from producing successful devices that don't rely heavily on Google applications. But Google explained that its mobile application suite (Play Store, Gmail, YouTube, Maps etc) will require a licence fee if pre-installed on devices shipping to the EEA and a separate licence would be required for Search and Chrome.

Google is to start charging Android manufacturers for the right to pre-install its mobile applications in Europe as it seeks to comply with an European Union antitrust ruling it is in the process of appealing.

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